Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Big Difference Than The Last Post

Having lived in Maryland since 1978 has given me a taste for the bivalve Cassaostrea virginica. We headed across my favorite bridge to the oyster festival at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. 

We had oysters in just about every form one can eat them. My favorite is on the half shell. The oyster fritter was also stellar but I am kind of old school. There were a lot of vendors selling all kinds of stuff. The vendor selling the Fordham Oyster Stout was also a favorite of mine.

The museum has a wonderful collection of wooden boats. You can go for a ride in many of them on the Miles River.

Unfortunately the Delaware was not running during the festival. I love tug boats. The smaller and cruder they are, the more I get excited over them.

About 30 years ago I bought a Sea King outboard motor thinking I would start collecting these beautiful little motors. 

Unfortunately many others had the same idea and before I could purchase a second one, others, with deeper pockets than me, got the same idea. 

The museum has an excellent collection. I will just enjoy their collect and stick to my toy campers and VW busses.

Do boat builders still put such detail to their work today? I can only hope.

The museum has some interesting building also. This is a very early Chesapeake Bay light house. It needs a coat of paint I think. With the throngs of people that attended the festival, I think they can afford the paint now.

I had wanted to see the screw pile lighthouse but it was packed with people and I thought it just might be exceeding it's capacity.

Saint Michaels in general is a beautiful town to walk around if you are a tourist. 

The true highlight of the day however was on this boat. The Herman M Krentz was the last skipjack built on the Chesapeake. She was launched in 1955 and is one of 12 skipjacks that dredge for oysters everyday through out the Winter months. 

The skipjacks dredge under sail all but one day a week when they are allowed to use a push boat. Their goal; 30,000 oysters, longer than 3" everyday. Most waterman just break even during oyster season and without school trips and joy rides like the one I took, they would be forced to abandon their boats to some backwater creek like thousands of others were.

The power these boats have under sail is tremendous. A skipjack is kind of the D10 of the working sail boat world. You can feel the power of wind put to sail. 

Captain Ed Farley has been making his living this way for 48 years. His hour long talk was worth every penny we paid for the ride. I put my name on his list for crew hoping to get a two week gig as the greenhorn. I would love to add oyster dredger to my resume even if it would just be a short stint. 

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